Are Your Holiday Gifts Protected?

January 4, 2012 at 9:09 AM | Posted in Home, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property | Leave a comment
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Scheduling items such as jewelry, furs, and fine arts will insure them for the full replacement cost, regardless of the reason for the loss. There are two ways to list these items on your policy:

  1. Blanket Coverage – Items are placed in a category with a total dollar amount, which usually does not require an appraisal; or
  2. Individual Coverage – Schedule each item separately using the appraised value.

No deductible applies to either method.

We recommend having your valuables appraised on an annual basis to ensure they are properly covered.

Call us at 1-888-850-9400. We will be happy to help you determine the best method to protect these valuable items.

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Season’s Greetings!

December 7, 2011 at 9:15 AM | Posted in Event Planning, Home, Personal Property | Leave a comment
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The holidays are a time for celebration and spending time with friends and family. This means more cooking, decorating, and entertaining. However, there is also an increased risk of fire and accidents. Here are some tips to keep your family safe:

  • If you plan to travel for the holidays, have a trusted friend or neighbor keep an eye on your home.
  • Poinsettias are known to be poisonous to humans and animals, so keep them well out of reach.
  • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “fire-resistant.”
  • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches, and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break.
  • When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators, and portable heaters. Make sure the tree is not in the way of traffic patterns and that doorways are not blocked.
  • Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood to allow for better water absorption.
  • Keep the stand filled with water because heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, which creates a fire hazard.
  • Make sure the base is steady so the tree won’t tip over easily.
  • Carefully inspect previously used light strings for burned-out bulbs, frayed wires, broken sockets, or loose connections. Replace damaged items before plugging lights in. Do not overload extension cords.
  • Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
  • Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground-fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.
  • Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
  • Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. When cooking for holiday visitors, remember to keep an eye on the range.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Protector Group wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

Do You Have a Home-Based Business?

July 27, 2011 at 9:12 AM | Posted in Home, Renters | Leave a comment
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Whether you rent or own, your home or condo policy is not designed to cover any business exposures. A basic un-endorsed home policy only provides limited coverage for business property such as a desk, computer, etc. If you sell products out of your home such as beauty products, plants and vegetables, have frequent yard sales, or perform services such as babysitting, you need more coverage than your home policy currently provides.

Depending on your situation and the scale of the business you operate from your home, there may be some additional coverage available for you to purchase on your home or condo policy:

  • Incidental Occupancies – Provides liability and medical payments coverage arising out of your business. If you have a business that you operate out of your home that is incidental to the use of the premises as a dwelling and is not your primary source of income, this coverage may work for you.
  • Day Care Coverage – Provides coverage for liability arising out of the operation of a day care in the home.
  • Incidental Farming Personal Liability – Provides coverage for the liability of the insured when farming is conducted on the premises that is incidental to the use of the premises as a dwelling, and the income from the farming operations is not the primary income.

If you have business inventory; are in the care, custody, or control of the property of others; or the business in your home is your primary source of income, you should secure a business policy. Some of the coverages you may need are: Liability to Others, Damage to Property of Others, Inventory of Business Products, and Business Interruption Coverage.

Don’t wait until after a claim to get coverage for your business. If you are not sure of what you need, call us at 1-888-850-9400 to discuss the options that best fit your needs.

To Buy or Not to Buy – Rental Car Loss Damage Waiver

June 8, 2011 at 9:55 AM | Posted in Auto | Leave a comment
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Many people struggle when deciding whether to pay for the rental car insurance waiver or to extend coverage from their personal auto policy to the rental vehicle.  In order to make that decision, you should be aware there are several coverage gaps between your personal auto policy and what the rental company will hold you responsible for, as recent changes to the rental car contracts have increased your responsibility as a renter.

The following describe a couple of coverage gaps you should be aware of:

  • Physical Damage to the rental vehicle will extend from your personal auto policy as long as the vehicle you are renting is a private passenger type vehicle in the continental U.S., its territories and Canada.  However, physical damage will be settled at actual cash value.  Not only would you be responsible for the loss of rental income for the rental agency, but there will be no coverage for diminution in value (the reduction in a vehicle’s market value due to an accident when the repaired vehicle is eventually sold).  Rental companies are now holding the renter contractually liable for this diminished value.
  • The before and after method of calculating the renter’s responsibility when a car is substantially damaged.  Depending on how the vehicle is damaged, the rental company may choose to sell the vehicle for salvage.  When this happens, they have the right to charge you the difference between the market value on the day of the rental (before) and the amount the vehicle sold for at the salvage auction (after).  There is NO coverage available for this under your personal auto policy.

Buying the loss damage waiver is the only way to close ALL of the rental car gaps in coverage.  When you purchase the waiver, you are not held liable for any damage to the vehicle as long as you have not engaged in any prohibited use (contract wording can differ so make sure you read your contract to identify what they consider to be prohibited use). Make sure everyone who will be operating the vehicle is listed on the contract.

Should you need further information on this subject please contact us at 888-850-9400.

Why You Need Tenant Insurance if You Rent

April 14, 2011 at 9:30 AM | Posted in Renters | Leave a comment
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As a renter, your personal possessions are your most valuable asset, and need to be protected in the event of a fire, theft, or almost anything else that might happen. Unfortunately, your landlord’s insurance policy does not provide coverage for your personal property or your personal liability.

Basic tenant insurance provides the following coverages:

  • Furniture, clothing, appliances, and many other personal belongings.
  • Covered items while traveling.
  • Additional living expenses if you have to temporarily relocate due to a loss.
  • Some improvements made to the rental unit.
  • Liability – if someone gets injured on your rented premises there is coverage if you are held liable. This includes coverage for legal expenses. 

Here’s two more great pluses: These policies are inexpensive, usually less than $20 a month, and having a tenants policy qualifies you for a discount on your auto insurance!

Don’t wait until you have a claim and get caught with no coverage. Call us to secure a policy today.

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